Most mornings, before the day unfolds, I repeat this mantra: Expect nothing, appreciate everything.
Profoundly simple, and deeply layered–this sentiment is something that keeps me from being unnecessarily disappointed, taking things too personally, and attaching myself to outcomes. It allows me to be present by grounding me in reality and gratitude.
You might be thinking, “Neg, seriously? Expect nothing? How the hell am I supposed to get anything done?”
And I get that. If you don’t put it into perspective, this idea can seem a little nebulous. But here’s the thing: Letting go of expectations is not the same as forgoing planning and organizing.
Expecting nothing doesn’t mean you can’t plan; go ahead and make plans, create an idea or an intention of what you want for your day (or your workout, your week, your relationship, your LIFE), but don’t attach yourself to the outcomes.
When you detach from outcomes, you cease thinking, “everything is ruined,” or “nothing is going my way.” Expecting nothing allows you to feel as though everything is as it should be.
When you expect nothing, you give yourself permission to be grateful for everything. Because even when things don’t go as planned, there is always something to be gleaned, a lesson to be learned, a new path you can take, a fabulously foreign journey you can embark upon.
Being uncommitted to outcomes means that all outcomes are things you can handle–and perhaps can even be more favorable than the outcome you’d foreseen. It means that even though you have a “plan,” you aren’t married to it. You can adapt. You can exist in the moment and appreciate it for what it is. You can be successfully present and grateful…
But only when you expect nothing.
Expectations have a funny way of creating resentment, disappointment, and feelings of failure. Being able to appreciate all outcomes, and adjust your perspective in a way that benefits you–this is a super power that will serve you greatly in all aspects of your life: in the gym, at work, and in your relationships.
Expect nothing. Let go of the need to control everything, manage perceptions, and determine outcomes.
Adapt. Be malleable.Appreciate everything. As Bruce Lee famously said, “Become like water, my friend.”